There are two types of transplants:
Regenerative medicine uses both transplant types
Use of both autologous and allogeneic donors is possible depending on the treatment.
Human leukocyte antigens (HLA) are proteins or markers that are located on the surface of most cells and tissues in the body. Every person has specific HLA markers that recognize which cells belong in the body.
When two people share much of the same HLA, they are referred to as a “match”. Their tissues are immunologically compatible with each other. A child will always be a perfect (100%) match to their own cord blood stem cells.
HLA typing is used to match patients and donors
If there is not a suitable match, the transplanted immune cells will attack the patient’s own body’s after the transplant. This is called Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) and is one of the most serious and potentially deadly complications in transplant medicine affecting the gut, digestive tract, respiratory system, skin and many other organs.* Cord blood stem cells from a family member result in less graft vs. host than when using cells from an unrelated donor.*
Unlike cord blood stem cells, bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell transplants from an unrelated donor REQUIRE AN EXACT MATCH between the patient and donor: Cord blood stem cells are more primitive and adaptable cells than bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cells. Cord blood stem cells do not require an exact HLA antigen match between the patient and the donor.*
Therefore, it is easier and faster to find a suitable donor. In addition, the incidence of complications such as GVHD is reduced and, if present, is usually less severe.*
A sibling has a 3 in 4 chance of inheriting a perfect or partial HLA match.